Hashtag Sports 2022 Recap
By: Nick DiMeglio
Last week, our team had the opportunity to fly out to Las Vegas and attend the Hashtag Sports Conference. For those that aren’t familiar, the Hashtag Sports Conference is a marquee conference for content creators, marketers, and the next generation of talent in the sports and entertainment industry. Hashtag Sports also recognizes some of the most impactful and influential campaigns, organizations, and individuals from the current year.
The conference was loaded with star-studded industry professionals and athletes. One of the first sessions that kicked off the event was hosted by members of the Atlanta Braves marketing department as they discussed the historic run the team went on coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was wonderful to hear about the creative ideas that occurred behind the scenes which ultimately lead to the production of their “bATtLe” playoff marketing campaign. They shared insights into the initial brainstorming that brought about the club's “championship tour,” which served as a way to market the Braves championship during the recent MLB lockout.
Later that day, we heard from the iconic artist, Chuck Styles, who is the mastermind behind the EA Madden 23 cover art, numerous Topps cards art, and many other projects. Chuck did not just speak about art, but also about his story. One of his most memorable remarks was, “don’t be afraid to be who you are, but also learn so you can bring people together.”
To wrap up the day we heard from Jennifer Van Dijk, SVP of Sports Partnerships at Dapper Labs, and NFL great, Cam Jordan. They spoke about Web3 and how the space is transforming the athlete-fan relationship. Cam focused the conversation on how players have begun to diversify their investments into the NFT space. He also spoke about NFL ALL DAY which is produced by Dapper Labs and how it has created unique moments for him to interact with his fans. "It allows your true fans to rep you and allows fans of the game to get another perspective of another player" - Cam Jordan. It was interesting to hear how Cam was one of the earliest adopters of the Web3 space, stating he’s been into crypto since 2016 and about three years ago he got into mining and flipping NFTs.
The following day's sessions were just as impactful. Hearing from Matt Leinart and Greig Carlson, Operators of Hall of GOATS, about the power of NIL and NFTs. There was also a great discussion about building a personal brand by David Meltzer, and the value in knowing your frequency. “Your brand, whether personal or business, does not need to please everyone anymore.” He also talked about how 10% of people will always like what you say, 10% will not care what you say. The remaining 80% is what you are seeking, be unapologetically you and avoid any attempt to please everyone.
The evening concluded with a great VIP Party hosted by Hashtag Sports, Dapper Labs, and Distinction Agency, offering an opportunity to connect, network, and enjoy an epic evening among the Las Vegas skylines.
The conference wrapped up on Thursday with another set of renowned panelists and presenters, including members of NHL, NFL, Fox Sports, and many others. The afternoon concluded with a conversation with NBA Hall of Famer, Tracy McGrady. All in all, the list of presenters assembled by Hashtag Sports were second to none. During the week, we also attended the CRTR Con and the Hashtag Sports Awards Red Carpet Show. Special thanks to Hashtag Sports for overdelivering and producing such an amazing week.